Tourism experts predict bright 2014 for San Diego

Chargers playoff run brought national spotlight

SAN DIEGO - San Diego has it all – from tourist attractions like SeaWorld to beautiful weather. It is home to conventions like Comic-Con and events like the Farmers Insurance Open.

But tourism experts say this year they also have $17 million to spend from City Council to showcase America's Finest City.

Robert Rauch, a hospitality industry specialist, predicts this year will bring in a 5.5 percent increase in revenue, which translates to $400 million that's driven from hotel, food and beverages and retail.

This in turn will mean more money back to the city, through the tourism occupancy tax.

"That's the third largest driver of revenues in San Diego," said Rauch. "It's $150 million to the city for police, fire, streets. That kind of thing doesn't go back to the tourism industry, that goes to the taxpayers."

Rauch says the Chargers making it into the playoffs has given the city much needed national attention.

"Every time San Diego is heard in the news, and they show beautiful shots of our incredible climate here, people say what am I, where I am, I can be there," said Rauch.

He added that a brighter forecast for tourism in San Diego in 2014 also means more jobs.

Right now, there are 160,000 jobs driven by the tourism industry. With the increase, Rauch believes there will be a 4-percent increase in jobs that are available.

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